2001 ’ ON its first album since s lauded Band of Gypsies , the brilliant Balkan band Taraf De Haidouks has boldly applied its folk formula to some well- loved classical works by the likes of Franz Liszt, Aram Khachaturian, Bela Bartok, Manuel de Falla and Isaac Albeniz.
While gypsies in general have a reputation for being musical magpies, any suggestion that the Romanians are pilfering is countered by the fact that several of said composers freely borrowed from Roma
Maskarada Taraf De Haidouks Crammmed/ Planet
sources in the first place. With their battery of fiddles, accordions and cimbaloms, plus flute and clarinet, Taraf puts its own exciting embellishments on familiar pieces such as Danza Ritual Del Fuego, Lezghinka, Waltz from Masquerade, In a Persian Market and Asturias, cutting through the harmonic structures with improvisations and dazzling digits.
Interspersed are some half- dozen of its own pieces. Virginica Dumitru — the ensemble ’ s
first female guest — adds Edith Piaf panache to Parca Eu Te- am Vazut and cimbalom sizzle to the wild finale, Suita Maskarada .
Haidouks ’ It is small surprise that Taraf De next Australian visit at WOMADelaide in March is awaited with keen interest by world music aficionados.